The thought of sharing the love of your life with another is impossible. But when that significant other is Krishna, you hardly have a say in the matter!
This is a tale of a love triangle, one-up-manship and competition to win over Krishna. So how did the Lord untangle this triangle?
“Narayana…Narayana…” sang Narada muni in praise of Lord Vishnu, as he descended in Satyabhama’s courtyard, clanging the kartal in one hand and veena slung across his shoulders.
Satyabhama bowed her head in reverence. “What brings you here munivar? she asked.
A mischievous smile spread across the sage’s lips, and his eyes sparkled with the thought of the aftermath of his statement, “I should not be telling you this, devi…but….” he paused for effect, with a I-should-not-be-telling-you-this look in his eyes. “No, I think, I should leave,” he said starting to depart.
Satyabhama was suddenly curious. “Mahamuni, come and be seated,” she said, “I’ll get you some fruit nectar to drink.”
“If you insist,” he said shrugging his shoulders.
She offered him the fruit nectar and he drank it happily.
“Now tell me what the matter is,” she asked.
“I heard that Krishna, your husband, has given the exotic Parijata flowers to Rukhmini. I also heard he didn’t give you any? Tch tch…how could he do that? Isn’t he supposed to treat all his wives equally?”
He waited for her to absorb the news.
“The Parijata was obtained during the Samudra-manthan. It is the most fragrant of all flowers, and it is also Krishna’s favorite. If he has given it to Rukhmini, it means that he loves her the most, isn’t it?”
He had? Satyabhama looked hurt. She loved Krishna with all her heart. Didn’t he love her as much? Why had he not given her those exotic flowers?
“Oh, I’m so sorry I hurt you,” said Narada pretending to sympathize but all the while trying to suppress a smile, “See? This is why I wouldn’t tell you.”
“Oh, Munivar, what should I do now?” she asked, feeling humiliated, “How do I find out if Krishna indeed loves me.”
“That’s easy, devi,” said Narada, “He got her a flower, you ask him to get the whole tree,” he said winking mischievously. His work done, he took leave of her, clanging his kartal once again and chanting his lord’s praise, “Narayana….Narayana.”
Satyabhama was so hurt, she immediately sought an audience with Krishna.
“What is it my love, you look upset,” asked Krishna, oblivious to the fire the mischievous sage had ignited in her mind, “Did something happen?”
“You don’t love me, my Lord,” she said sulking like a little child. “You love didi Rukhmini more. That is why you got her the Parijata flowers and got me nothing. Narada muni has told me everything.”
Krishna closed his eyes and sighed. Narada…wait till I meet you.
“The Parijata is in Indralok,” he reasoned, “Indra will be furious if I bring it here. I can get you some flowers if you want.”
“If I want? Why wouldn’t I want? You should have got me the flowers, but…before I asked you for it,” she pouted, “Now I want the tree. If you love me, get me the tree.”
“No my sweetest heart, I love you as much,” he said trying to pacify her. “You both are like my eyes, how does one love one eye more than the other?”
“Prove it. Get me the tree,” she said stubbornly.
Krishna realized the futility of arguing with her. What was with these women and the competition amongst themselves? Was it so difficult to comprehend that he loved them equally?
And thus he set forth to Indralok to get the tree. After an intense battle with Lord Indra, he managed to procure the tree for her.
Satyabhama was thrilled. You love me the most, my Lord? I knew it!” she exclaimed.
“Where do you want to plant it?” he asked.
She pondered over it for several minutes. Rukhmini must know that Krishna loved his Satyabhama the most.
“Lord, plant it on my side of the garden, but close to the wall between my garden and Didi’s”. It would be a reminder to Rukhmini that Satyabhama was the Lord’s favorite.
Krishna saw through her plan and smiled to himself. “So be it,” he said.
Just as he finished planting, he saw Rukhmini look at the Parijata tree and was suddenly worried. He asked her, “Now are you about to ask me whom do I love more?” The perils of having too many wives, he thought.
“No, my Lord,” said Rukhmini, “I know you love me the most, because you planted the tree in such a way that the westward wind will drop all the flowers in my garden. Satyabhama may have gotten her tree, but finally, I get the flowers, don’t I?”
Krishna smiled. Women.
This day...last year...T for Trust